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Ontario Construction Secretariat CEO brings deep roots to new job

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by Vince Versace

The seeds of becoming the Ontario Construction Secretariat’s new chief executive officer were planted through his family’s roots, says Sean Strickland.
Ontario Construction Secretariat CEO brings deep roots to new job

The seeds of becoming the Ontario Construction Secretariat’s new chief executive officer were planted through his family’s roots, says Sean Strickland.

“I come from a construction family, worked on sites and my father was the vice-president of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen (union of Canada),” says Strickland. “I guess you can say the leaves do not fall far from the tree.”

Strickland is joining OCS after five years as business manager for the Waterloo, Wellington, Dufferin, Grey Building and Construction Trades Council.

Previous to that, he did some strategic planning with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Strickland also co-founded the yourlocalelectricans.ca, a trade organization representing 40 electrical contractors throughout the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford and surrounding areas that perform residential and ICI work.

“Five years ago, I did not envision joining OCS. I really enjoyed my work with the trades but this is a great opportunity,” adds Strickland.

“Construction is multi-layered and how OCS interacts with it, as objectively as possible, is important.”

OCS is a joint labour, management and government partnership established under the Ontario Labour Relations Act and Strickland’s past experiences in municipal affairs and government relations make him no stranger to working in such an environment.

Strickland says his first few months will have an “internal focus” as he immerses himself in OCS’s current projects and studies.

The ninth annual OCS State of Industry Economic Outlook Conference, on March 4, has gained more importance for construction this year thanks to the current economic slowdown, he says. Presentations by Kathryn Jacobs, OCS director of research and analysis and other economists will be key for industry stakeholders.

“The economy is top-of-mind for everyone,” Strickland says.

“We are all very much aware how construction is exposed to the general conditions of our economy.”

Strickland is a University of Waterloo graduate and has served on on-profit boards with the Grand River Hospital, Wilfred Laurier University and the Grand River Conservation Authority.

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